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Life After Death for CAPPS II?

Wired has more on the government’s controversial plan to screen passengers before they board a plane. The Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System II (CAPPS II) is dead – but it may return in a new form with a new name.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge bluntly told a reporter Wednesday that CAPPS II was effectively “dead” and jokingly pretended to put a stake in its heart. His comment went far beyond Tuesday’s statement to members of Congress by the Transportation Security Administration’s acting chief, Adm. David Stone, who said the program’s main components were being “reshaped”.

For its part, the American Conservative Union warned that it would oppose any successor program that is not fundamentally different from CAPPS II. ACU spokesman Ian Walter said:

Renaming a program does not satisfy the civil liberties concerns of conservatives so long as that program turns law-abiding commercial airline passengers into terrorism suspects. Civil liberties-minded conservatives will never support it.

Any new program will likely not be deployed anytime soon, as the TSA will likely need to reissue a Privacy Act notice detailing how the system will work, collect comments on the notice, issue new rules or a secret order to force airlines to provide passenger data to the system and have it certified by the GAO (General Accountability Office).

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